Boccia England

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Day 2 World Championship Coverage

Watch live action from the main court on day 2 of the championships by clicking here

The GB Team matches will take place as follows (our English players are in bold):

09:00 David Smith v Subin Tipmanee (THA)

10:15 Ricky Stevenson v Mikhail Gutnik (RUS) World no.3

11:30 Claire Taggart v Luis Cristaldo (ARG)

11:30 Stephen McGuire v Ivan Frolov (RUS)

12:45 Evie Edwards v Nuno Guerreiro (POR)

12:45 Louis Saunders v Duban Cely (COL)

14:00 Jamie McCowan v Eric Bussiere (CAN)

15:15 Patrick Wilson v Howon Jeong (KOR) (Paralympic gold medallist since Rio)

15:15 David Smith MBE v Omar Hayward (BER)

15:15 Ricky Stevenson v Mikhail Letnikov (RUS)

For the full schedule, please click here

World Championships Day 1 Overview

It was an intense day of competition in Liverpool with a mix of results for Team GB who had a fairly even split of wins and losses in their Individual matches. British medal favourites sailed through their pool matches of day one of the BISFed 2018 World Boccia Championships.

For our England athletes the breakdown of Day 1 results are:

o David Smith played 1 won 1

o Louis Saunders played 2 lost 2

o Evie Edwards played 2, won 1, lost 1.

David Smith MBE (Swansea / Eastleigh), BC1 Paralympic gold medallist, enjoyed a straightforward first day, beating Korea’s Sungjoon Jung 9-0:
“I knew he would be a better opponent than his ranking suggested because he is Korean and they are a strong nation. It was tough because we had no previous knowledge of his style of play or tactics. I just had to play sensibly and wait for my chances to score. I have two games tomorrow. One win will be enough to see me through but I want two wins to secure the top spot and the best draw in the last 16.”

Ipswich’s Evie Edwards, meanwhile, won her morning match against Russian player Sergey Safin 6-4. She had spectators gripped in a nailbiting second match against Hyeon Seok Seo. She lost 6-2: “Although I lost my second match, I played really well today. Sometimes, it doesn’t come off. It was really tight at the end and was ball for ball. I have one more group game left and I still have a chance to go through to the last 16.”

The BISFed 2018 World Boccia Championships has been made possible thanks to UK Sport’s National Lottery funding through its Major Events Programme.

The main court is live from throughout the week from 10:30-18:00 BST on the BBC Sport website, Sport app & connected TV.

Introducing the English athletes of Team GB!

One week, 33 countries, 10 GB athletes!
The World Championships are nearly here!
Be sure to view all the live action throughout the Championships on BBC Sport here

Boccia England is very excited and proud to showcase our English athletes taking part of the Championships in Liverpool as part of Team GB:

David Smith: A BC1 player who is a Boccia England member and has been English champion 11 times. David will be competing in the Individual and Team events. Team GB's star athlete, won Gold at the Rio Paralympics in 2016 and is the current World Number 1.

Evie Edwards: A BC4 player from Suffolk competing in the Individual and Pairs' events. Evie progressed through our England Talent Pathway (ETP) swiftly, performing well for Boccia England at international level before progressing to Boccia UK. Evie is currently Boccia England's highest ranked BC4 athlete.

Jess Hunter: A BC3 player from Surrey competing in the Pairs' event. Jess has competed in numerous Boccia England national competitions resulting in a podium position on many occasion. Jess is currently Boccia England's highest ranked BC3 athlete.

Louis Saunders: A BC4 player from Sussex competing in the Individual and Pairs' events. Louis progressed through our England Talent Pathway (ETP) before being elected for Boccia UK and making his international debut at the age of 16. Louis is currently ranked as Boccia England's no. 2 BC4 athlete.

Will Hipwell: A BC2 player from Cambridge competing in the Team events. Will developed his boccia skills through our England Talent Pathway before his selection to Boccia UK. Will is currently Boccia England's highest ranked BC2 athlete.

We wish all our athletes the best of luck! Go Team GB!

Not sure what the BC1-BC4 classifications mean? Click here to view the international classification specifications.

World Boccia Championships to be live streamed!

The BISFed 2018 World Boccia Championships will be streamed live as they take place at the Exhibition Centre Liverpool 12-18 August.

Audiences will be able to see their favourite Paralympic boccia stars in action through connected devices, TV, tablet and mobile on the BBC.

The main court will be live from Sunday 12 August from 09:00-19:00 BST to Saturday 18 August from 10:30-18:00 BST on the BBC Sport website, Sport app & connected TV.

Boccia UK Chair John Dowson says the decision is a huge boost to the sport:“It is fantastic news that the World Championships will be live streamed by the BBC. It is a huge opportunity for us to reach more people and showcase the sport of boccia. Hopefully it will inspire many watching on their TV or devices to play.”

Hopes are certainly riding high for the ten members of the British team ahead of the Championships. Leading the way is Paralympic gold medallist David Smith MBE and defending champion Stephen McGuire who has enjoyed a superb season.

BBC Sport has committed to providing technical and editorial support to sports to enable them to broadcast their events more widely and has offered to live stream all UK Sport-supported major events on its website and red button channels, where no competing commercial broadcaster is involved.
The new commitment comes after the BBC announced ambitious plans to reinvent free-to-air sports broadcasting, with its biggest increase of live sport coverage in a generation. Over a thousand extra hours of live sport could be available for audiences to watch online every year through BBC Sport and BBC iPlayer. The BBC is working closely with sports bodies across the UK with the aim of broadcasting coverage from more than 30 additional sports or sporting events every year.

The broadcasts will help to keep Olympic and Paralympic sports and their stars in the public eye between Games times, with more events such as World, European and National Championships likely to be shown.

The BISFed 2018 World Boccia Championships has been made possible thanks to UK Sport’s National Lottery funding through its Major Events Programme.
Tickets are on sale now and are available to buy online at https://www.echoarena.com/worldboccia

Focus On Boccia & TASS

Thank you to TASS for sharing the below article with us:

Boccia is one of the fastest growing disability sports in the world and England is at the forefront of its rapid expansion.

Simon Rushworth heard how the decision to offer emerging athletes a tailored support package is paying dividends.

Jabe Peake proudly describes himself as ‘a bit of a geek’. But he’s doing himself a disservice. In fact, it would be wrong to imagine the 18-year-old A-level student as a professional nerd with his head constantly buried in books. Peake might be a geek but he’s also a national champion in his chosen sport and a hot prospect for future Paralympic glory.

“Before boccia, I was a bit of a geek,” said the Cambridge-based sixth former and reigning Boccia England Cup BC1 champion.

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“It’s fair to say I still am! But I love challenging myself to be better as a person and an athlete. Boccia allows me to do that.

“And I’ve realised during the past year that sport isn’t all about winning - it’s more about personal development. For me, playing boccia has really helped me focus on what I’m doing on and off the court.”

Boccia celebrates its 35th anniversary next year and England’s new breed – Peake included - are determined to head into 2019 as world leaders in one of the fastest growing disability sports. But that won’t be easy.

The majority of Boccia athletes are self-funded and the sport has never benefited from the lucrative sponsorship deals and television coverage required to take it to the next level. Peake and his peers must rely on their own commitment and dedication – combined with specialist external support – to make their sporting dreams a reality.

“Being a self-funded athlete is tough,” added 24-year-old Boccia star Tim Hayes, who picked up a silver medal at the 2018 Boccia England Cup Finals and has his sights firmly set on Tokyo 2020. “The national governing body is not in a position to give us financial support and we have to source - and apply for - funding from various charities and organisations to help with equipment, competition and travel costs.

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“It’s not easy, especially if you want to compete at the elite level of the game. It involves lots of training, hard work and commitment.”

But Hayes and Peake are two of the lucky ones in a sport that’s constantly striving to progress its best performers. Both men are supported by the Sport England-backed Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) and both benefit from a raft of services designed to boost their Boccia careers.

“It’s been really good me for me to be on the TASS programme this year,” said Hayes. “I get the whole package at Southampton’s Solent University.

“The regular boccia training with a coach and other athletes is great and the strength and conditioning, nutrition, lifestyle and physiotherapy services have been brilliant for me.

“It has really had such a positive impact on my boccia. I'm really enjoying it and it has pushed me on to the next level as an athlete. The funding support has been a huge help and has made a real difference.”

TASS supports more than 400 performance athletes across the country and its partnership with Boccia England (BE) represents a growing commitment to disability sport. With more than 60 athletes on BE’s talent pathway programme, there’s a pressing need to provide greater levels of specialist support to future champions.

“We’ve been working with TASS for the last two or three years,” explained BE’s Talent Manager, Matt Kendrick. “There was a recognition that we needed to support our athletes at a national level and take a more holistic approach.

“By working with TASS we can deliver additional services to our top boccia athletes on a regular basis and a number of our England Performance Group benefit from the support.

“TASS wanted to know more about the unique demands facing Paralympians and athletes with disabilities. It’s been a two-way learning process that’s benefitted both sides.

“It’s not something that we’ve done before and not something TASS had done before but we wanted to work together to see what might happen.

“It’s been a journey but we’re already starting to see the benefits. TASS have had the opportunity to work with athletes with high level physical disabilities and we’ve been able to access a new level of support.”

Beth Moulam is a Social Policy student at the University of York and was another star of the 2018 BE Cup finals. The 24-year-old accesses her TASS support services at Leeds Beckett University and said: “The team at Beckett are great and all year round they’ve supported my efforts to get ready for playing boccia at an elite level again.

“I’ve had great support – in strength and conditioning, nutrition and psychology. My physical strength has come on leaps and bounds. I think BE’s partnership with TASS can only be good for the sport. It’s a great collaboration and absolutely vital to any athlete with aspirations to go further. TASS adds mind and body support to the sporting mix.”

Kendrick is constantly reassessing TASS’s impact on BE but can only see the partnership growing stronger in the future. With 40-plus athletes in action at May’s national championships and thousands of children competing in a groundbreaking schools programme, demand outstrips supply.

“Our athletes are benefiting from TASS support in all kinds of different ways but I’d love to see more join the programme,” he added.

“Jabe is familiar with the demands of being a dual career athlete with a lot going on at the moment. The lifestyle support he’s received on TASS has been excellent.

“Beth has moved classifications and the strength and conditioning support she’s received from TASS has enabled her to play in a completely different way.

“For Tim it’s been about focusing on his power. He’s relatively new to TASS but in a short space of time the support he’s been able to access has made him a more powerful athlete.

“It’s taken a while to embed TASS into what we do and it’s taken time for the TASS practitioners to adjust to working with boccia athletes. But we’re already seeing the benefits.”

For Moulam, TASS support has helped her to bridge the gap between education and sport and allowed the BE Academy athlete to excel at both.

“Being a dual career athlete needs careful thought and balance,” she added. “At times it can be study or sport - especially when assignments and exams come along. Everything needs planning. But who wants a quiet life?”

It’s a sentiment echoed by Peake.

“The season’s schedule is very challenging, intense and full on,” added the Hinchingbrooke School student. “It can be difficult to get the balance right, especially with all the travelling, training camps and competitions. But you just have to adapt, take breaks at the right times, switch off from the game and enjoy time with friends and family. It’s both enjoyable and exhausting! But I guess that’s the life of an elite level student athlete in a nutshell.”

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(Photo Credit to Andy Thompson, Sport England, for use of the photos of Jabe Peake.)

Tatra Cup 2018

Slovakia, 23-26 June 2018

In June, Boccia England took a team of five athletes plus support staff to the 2018 Tatra Cup International Boccia Tournament held in the Liptov region of Slovakia. Spectators were entertained by some fantastic boccia in both Teams and Pairs Competitions as well as Individuals featuring some world ranked athletes and Paralympic Champions representing Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Ukraine, Croatia, and Poland.

Tatra Cup Nations

Boccia England’s England Performance Group was proudly represented by BC1 Tia Ruel, BC2's Tim Hayes and Reshad Saraj, and BC3's Lee Maddison and Richard Amos. The team was supported by Matt Kendrick (Team Manager), Dan Headley (BC3 Performance Coach) and Felicity Nicholls (BC1/2 Performance Coach) who did an outstanding job throughout the trip.

Squad

There were good performances from all squad players as well as a very positive squad environment contributed to the team having a very successful competition and bringing home four medals.
Congratulations to our medallists:

BC1/2 Team Bronze – Tia Ruel ©, Reshad Saraj and Tim Hayes assisted by Melissa Paulden

Individual BC1 Bronze – Tia Ruel assisted by Melissa Paulden

Individual BC2 Gold – Tim Hayes

Individual BC3 Bronze – Lee Maddison assisted by Chris Foster

There was an 8th place finish for Reshad Saraj in the BC2 classification and a 9th place finish for Rich Amos assisted by Ellis Badger in the BC3 competition. The standard of competition had really stepped up with no easy matches.

There were lots of lessons learnt from the competition and the England Talent Pathway continues to go from strength to strength both domestically and internationally.

Tatra Cup

NATIONAL BOCCIA LEAGUE FINALS 2018 RESULTS

For the National Boccia League Finals results please see here

Congratulations to all medallists and competitors.

We look forward to seeing Greenbank Giants and Pauls Place Raiders in the Super League next season!

Here is how the Super League table finished:

Super League table 2018/2019

Final_Super_League_table

Rio's Rockets and Camboccia will return to the National League next season.

A huge thank you to all event volunteers and supporters.

Follow us on Flickr to view photos of the event!

Details on next seasons National and Super League will be released very soon!

TAG Boccia Month – A spotlight on GEM Boccia Club

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GEM Boccia club was started by Georgina Elizabeth Moore (GEM) in 2017. Georgina has Arthrogryposis which is a condition which causes joint contractures or curves in the joints. For Georgina this means she is a wheelchair user and cannot weight bare. This has never stopped Georgina and she is not the type of person who likes to sit around not doing anything. She likes to stay fit and healthy and take part in swimming.

In 2016, after watching Boccia at the Rio Paralympics, Georgina decided to try the sport. Using the club finder on the Boccia England website Georgina was able to find a club in Bristol. There were no clubs in South Gloucester for Georgina to join so she decided to travel to Bristol to give the sport a go.

Immediately she loved playing because it was competitive and she felt that throwing the balls was great exercise. Georgina was loving the sport and being part of the club in Bristol but after a few months the journey was becoming too much. Georgina decided now was the time to start her own club.

With support from Access Sport, Georgina was able to start GEM Boccia Club in 2017. Working with her local sports centre and borrowing boccia balls Georgina was able to get the club up and running with 11 people attending the very first session. Tom, Georgina’s carer, completed a Boccia coaching course and the sessions quickly became meaningful and allowed members to progress their skills.

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The club has people of all ages and abilities and the club ethos is “Inclusive to all”. The club regularly has non-disabled people taking part as everyone is welcome to join in and play. The numbers of people attending the club is still growing and now the club is able to provide fun sessions to a huge range of players.

This year GEM Boccia Club took part in the National Boccia League for the first time. The players all had an enjoyable day and gained a great experience from it. They are now looking forward to competing more in the future.

In 2018 GEM Boccia Club were nominated in the Boccia England awards. While they did not win the award the club were overwhelmed at being nominated and felt great to have had such a positive impact on their community.

GEM Boccia Club is now looking for more players and volunteers to help the club grow. If you would like to get involved in this club please contact Georgina on gembocciaclub@gmail.com.

Boccia England & CP Sport working in partnership

We are pleased to announce that earlier this year a partnership between Boccia England and Cerebral Palsy Sport (CP Sport) was established. The aim of the partnership is to increase opportunities for people with cerebral palsy to access local boccia opportunities.

CP Sport is the country’s leading national disability sports charity supporting people with cerebral palsy to reach their sporting potential. The charity provides opportunities to access disability sports such as; football, swimming, athletics, bowls, table cricket, and through adapted sports of RaceRunning, Frame Football and Touch Golf. They offer support to parents, support workers, teachers, coaches, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, sport providers and other professionals on how to adapt sports for people with cerebral palsy.

To find out more about the charity visit the CP Sport website

The partnership, amongst other actions, will see Boccia England supporting CP Sport SportStart Days and CP Sport sharing opportunities to get involved in boccia with their members.

A player’s perspective – Beth Moulam

Sport has been a big part of my life since I was 10. I first played boccia in the Surrey Youth Games in 2004 and discovered I was very competitive. Boccia became, and still is my passion, I’ve always wanted to medal at the Paralympics. For years I have trained hard, most weekends and several times a week. In 2015 I had a setback, I was throwing as a BC1 for England when due to a medical condition I could no longer compete. I’d worn skins for years to throw and when, due to severe overheating, I could no longer wear them I discovered I was unable to pick up a ball, never mind lift it.

It would have been easy to stop but instead I decided my dream need not end, I could still be a ramp player if I was re-classified. This took several months, but eventually I was classified as a BC3 athlete and my journey in the late summer of 2016 began again. What became clear was that I needed to dramatically improve my core strength and head control. My training regime has always included gym work and hydrotherapy as well as daily exercises, but I needed more.

Around this time I found RaceRunning and this has changed my life, I love it. My hands are still unable to manage a ball, but the rest of my body is dramatically improved by training 2-3 times a week. Last summer I competed in the CP Sport series and at the RaceRunning World Championships in Denmark where I got a bronze in the 60m and came 6th in the 100m (and with a broken hand). I’ve now been selected for the CPISRA World Games in San Cugat in August 2018. Week on week in training I am improving my training times and very hopeful for some PBs this coming season.

Meanwhile, I feel my boccia is going from strength to strength. I still do 2 PT sessions a week, boccia training and hydrotherapy but I have added in RaceRunning and the benefits are clear; I am stronger, fitter and healthier, I get cardio-vasular exercise so my stamina has improved, my core and range of movement means I am both more still on court but I can also reach awkward shots, and then my concentration, focus and mood are improved so is my attitude on court.

I recommend both sports; boccia is strategic and I really use my brain whereas RaceRunning in more physical so they complement each other. I’m still aiming to represent GB in 2024, the big challenge now will be in what sport!

TAG Boccia Month

The Arthrogryposis Group (TAG) has partnered with Boccia England, the National Governing Body for Boccia, to increase opportunities for its members to become more physically active through the sport of boccia. In June boccia clubs across England will be opening their doors and welcoming members of TAG to join them in the first ever TAG Boccia Month to give boccia a go!

Boccia is an action packed inclusive and sociable game. It can be played in a competitive situation or for fun with people of all ages and abilities. Hugely enjoyable and easy to learn, the idea of the game of skill and strategy is to throw your balls closest to the ‘jack’, the white ball, to win. Boccia can be played by people with any disability and it is ideal for athletes in either power or manual wheelchairs, as the main rule of the game is that players must remain seated throughout; ambulant players throw from a chair.

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The following sessions will be available throughout June.

  • YMCA East Surrey Boccia Club – Saturday 2nd June, 12:30pm – 1:30pm. The club is held at YMCA East Surrey, Princes Road, Redhill, Surrey, RH2 0QN. For more information contact Katie on Katie.Gatt@ymcaeastsurrey.org.uk.

  • Boccia Gateshead – Every Tuesday in June, 1:30pm – 2:30pm. The club is held at St Georges Church, 1-9 Inskip Terrace, Gateshead, NE8 4AJ. For more information contact Jenni on jenni@smilethroughsport.com.

  • Access Sport Henbury Boccia Club – Every Friday in June, 7pm – 8pm. The club is held at Henbury Leisure Centre, Avonmouth Way, Henbury, Bristol, BS10 7NG. For more information contact James on James.pink@irwinmitchell.com.

  • Nottinghamshire Boccia Club – Every Thursday in June, 6pm – 8pm. The club is held at Joseph Whitaker Sports Centre, Warsop Lane, Rainworth, NE21 0AG. For more information contact Pete on pge82@sky.com.

  • Greenbank Giants – Every Monday, 4pm – 6pm or every Tuesday, 12pm – 2pm. The club is held at Greenbank Sports Academy, Greenbank Lane, Liverpool, Merseyside, L17 1AG. For more information contact Pablo on greenbankgiants@gmail.com.

  • Uttlesford Boccia Club, Lord Butler Fitness and Leisure centre, Peaslands Rd, Saffron Walden CB11 3EG. Each Saturday in June, 9am – 10am. Contact is Daniel on uttlesfordbocciaclub@gmail.com.

  • Gem Boccia Club – Every Tuesday, 4pm – 6pm. The club is held at Yate Leisure Centre, Kennedy Way, Yate, Bristol BS37 4DQ. For more information contact Georgina on gembocciaclub@gmail.com.

  • If the sessions above aren’t right for you try the Boccia England Club Finder which will help you find your nearest Boccia club.

If you want to learn more about boccia and see it in action check out this video